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How Free Community College Works in One State

September 13, 2015 itlin McLawhorn could nev­er have gone to col­lege, she says, without the free tu­ition she re­ceived to at­tend com­munity col­lege first and to earn an as­so­ci­ate’s de­gree. Grow­ing up as the daugh­ter of a single moth­er, money was al­ways tight in McLawhorn’s house­hold in East Ten­ness­ee. Her fath­er left the...

The Customizable Retirement

July 6, 2015 About a decade ago, the leaders of a healthcare system in Wisconsin had an unpleasant epiphany: They were heading for a major shortage of qualified workers. Beyond the predicted national shortage of nurses, the average age of employees at the Mercy Health System, based in Janesville, hovered in the late...

When It Comes to Getting a Job, Americans Believe Skills Trump College

June 19, 2015 Earn a college degree, and you’ll set yourself up for life: a stable job, salary, and mortgage. That was the old adage for generation after generation, following World War II. Yet, both young and old workers no longer hold the same abiding faith in the power of four-year degree, according...

Helping the Unemployed in the Empire State Create Their Own Jobs

April 14, 2015 Danielle Bliss already had an inkling that she wanted to do something different with her career when she got laid off on New Year's Eve in 2010. For the previous five years, she'd been working for a national television station in New York City, doing on-air animation for the station's...

Americans Give Up On Washington

March 10, 2015 Michael Hansen, age 45, is not alone in thinking that national politics has become "almost like a slow motion car wreck." Every week brings another seeming crisis from Washington D.C.—the congressional showdown over the continuation of funding for the Homeland Security Department was just the latest. It's enough to turn...

State-Run Green Banks Could Bring Down Energy Costs

July 17, 2014 Anyone in search of financing for a clean- or renewable-energy project need look no further than the state of New York. In December 2013, New York launched its first-ever "green bank," an ambitious state-run $1 billion investment fund meant to help finance the kinds of local energy-efficiency and clean-energy projects...

Not Ready to Retire? Not a Problem at NIH.

June 27, 2014 Sixty-two-year-old Joe Ellis officially retired from the National Institutes of Health in June 2012. Yet he still shows up at the federal agency's Bethesda, Md., campus roughly two days a week. When he's there, Ellis tackles long-term projects or mentors younger colleagues, but never for more than 20 hours a...

Can Big Data Boost the Paltry Number of Female and Minority Tech Workers?

June 19, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Say you're a recruiter at a tech company in Silicon Valley, Boston, or New York City, and you need to hire a new engineer quickly. You don't want to hire another white dude (your company employs so many of them already!). Yet all of the potential referrals you receive are...

Analysis: Obama's Incredibly Underwhelming Executive Orders

March 21, 2014 President Obama tried to boost the fortunes of the aspiring middle class late last week by issuing an executive order to rewrite regulations that dictate which type of workers can collect overtime pay. It was a valiant effort on the part of the administration—and the president's second, recent attempt to...

Why the IRS Scandals Make It Hard to Fix the IRS

June 10, 2013 Two damning Treasury Department reports, ongoing congressional hearings, and one criminal investigation remind Americans how much they dislike the tax man—and not just on April 15. Which means they probably need less convincing now than at any other time in recent years that the tax code needs to change. But...

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